Bay Village HS students planning protest after sports suspended until further notice

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BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (WJW) — Bay Village High School junior Macey Ault and her fellow athletes got the disappointing news Friday that the school system was joining others in Cuyahoga County in a decision to suspend sports and other extracurricular activities for the foreseeable future at the recommendation of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

“We were working so hard and staying in shape and all that practice for nothing,” said Ault.

On Wednesday, she and other students are planning to hold a peaceful protest in front of the school board. Ault, a soccer athlete, reached out to another athlete on the boy’s soccer team to organize the effort.

“It’s my senior season so this is kind of like the last go around for me,” said Brock Pickett.

In just a couple of days, these students were able to get their message out to other student organizations and coaches, and they hope that will help amplify their message.

“We have band and we were really interested in theatre and stuff because they’ve had a play that’s been cancelled from the spring,” said Ault.

Acknowledging the importance of those organizations to the students, Superindent Jodie Hausmann released a statement saying in full:

“Regarding athletics and activities, the Great Lakes Conference continues to review state and local guidelines and recommendations. We know how important these athletic and social organizations are to our students. The suspension of these groups is until further notice; no final decisions have been made for the fall season. We appreciate the passion our students and their families have for Bay Village Schools, and know this is a very emotional time for all our One Rocket Nation families.”

Other school superintendents have commented on the confusion of guidance coming from multiple directions. The Ohio High School Athletic Associaton “reaffirmed their position” in a release Friday saying it is important to keep athletic activity moving forward, putting districts in an even more difficult position.

On Saturday, the state reissued its order to allow contact and non-contact sports practice to resume. “If the guidelines got stricter, I think people would be ok with that. Just the thought of people having a season, I think they’d do anything to have it,” said Ault.

“We understand that it’s a pandemic, but at the same time, we followed every protocol,” said Pickett.

Their protest comes as North Royalton students protested their school district’s decision on Friday.

“I just think we’re trying to voice our opinion as students because they’ve kind of asked everybody else,” said Pickett. “It means a lot more to us than people think.”

They’re holding onto the change that sports will be part of their fall semester. 

“That’s why were going is we have hope that if we show out, as one as a community, we can change and have a season.”

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